Plant inventory of the `Ōla`a Trench at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park

Date
2007-04
Authors
Waite, Mashuri
Pratt, Linda
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Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Botany
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Abstract
The `Ōla`a Trench is a complex of craters in the remote northeastern quarter of `Ōla`a Tract in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Because the feature had never been formally surveyed, an inventory of vascular plants was carried out in June and July, 2001. A large main crater, three of four small craters and a hill associated with the feature were surveyed; one of the small craters was inaccessible. Vegetation cover in the area was montane wet `ōhi`a (Metrosideros polymorpha) forest with an open canopy. Native sedge bogs were observed on the floors of craters, and native matted ferns and shrubs were the dominant vegetation on steep slopes. While the canopy and understory plants of the forest were primarily native, ground cover was disturbed by feral pigs and contained a number of alien plant species. Few individuals of highly invasive alien plant species, such as yellow Himalayan raspberry (Rubus ellipticus) and strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum), were noted in the area. The most notable native plant observed was the endangered Cyrtandra tintinnabula. A small population of this shrub occurred at three sites within the feature. This species is a new record for the park. Koli`i (Trematolobelia grandifolia), a species of concern, was also seen within the main crater. A few individuals of six rare to uncommon shrub and tree species and three other native plants vulnerable to pig damage were observed at several sites within the feature.
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Keywords
Olaa Trench
Citation
Waite M, Pratt L. 2007. Plant inventory of the `Ōla`a Trench at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Honolulu (HI): Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Botany. PCSU Technical Report, 139. 26 pages
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